If you want to make the world safe for both the boys and the girls you care about, you must read this book. Diane Levin and Jean Kilbourne really understand what we’re fighting against, and they also show us a way to transform the world for our children–and make us feel empowered in the process.”—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees
“This book–by two of America’s leading experts on the effects of media on children–is powerful and profoundly useful. It is packed with great stories and poignant examples of the stress children face in our sex-soaked culture. Best of all, the authors offer sane and practical solutions for all of us who want to make things better for children, parents, schools, and the culture at large.”—–Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia
“So Sexy So Soon is a most timely and important book. For parents who are troubled and worried about what their children are seeing and hearing, it offers helpful guidance and support; it not only documents the trends but provides parents with many useful strategies to combat them.”—David Elkind, Ph.D., author of The Hurried Child
“Levin and Kilbourne, two of the nation’s most astute analysts of media and youth, have produced the definitive book on the sexualization of childhood. Complete with sample conversations, guidelines, and practical advice, this book will teach you how to keep your child healthy as you navigate the minefields of popular culture. Essential reading for parents, educators, and health professionals.”—Juliet Schor, professor of sociology, author of Born to Buy
“Every parent should read this eye-opening book. It is a rallying cry to take a stand against the commercial sexualization of children. I highly recommend it.”—Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and director of the MediaCenter at Judge Baker Children’s Center
“Levin and Kilbourne show us how children, from their earliest years, learn about sex, sexuality, and relationships. Best of all, they give us concrete strategies to fight harmful influences and help us nurture children toward loving relationships now and throughout their lives.”—Nancy Carlsson-Paige, author of Taking Back Childhood and Professor of education, Lesley University
The authors (Levin is a professor of education; Kilbourne, an authority on the effects of advertising) accuse the media of sexualizing children. Constantly, American children are exposed to a barrage of sexual images in television, movies, music and the Internet. They are taught young that buying certain clothes, consuming brand-name soft drinks and owning the right possessions will make them sexy and cool-and being sexy and cool is the most important thing. Young men and women are spoon-fed images that equate sex with violence, paint women as sexually subservient to men and encourage "hooking up" rather than meaningful connections. The result is that kids are having sex younger and with more partners than ever before. Eating disorders and body image issues are common as early as grade school. Levin and Kilbourne stress that there is nothing wrong with a young person's natural sexual awakening, but it is wrong to allow a young person's sexuality to be hijacked by corporations who want them as customers. The authors offer advice on how parents can limit children's exposure to commercialized sex, and how parents can engage kids in constructive, age-appropriate conversation about sex and the media. One need only read the authors' anecdotes to see why this book is relevant. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Levin (education, Wheelock Coll.; Remote Control Childhood? Combating the Hazards of Media Culture) and coauthor Kilbourne (Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel) have cultivated their credentials as experts on media influence and children's development. As the title promises, this book delineates formative social influences promoting premature sexual knowledge and behavior in young children. Among examples of the "new sexualized childhood," the authors emphasize the well-established fact that manufacturers take advantage of children by pushing sexually suggestive products such as Barbie and Bratz dolls, eliciting child sexual behavior. A more useful feature is the sage advice to parents. By emphasizing ongoing discussion and communication between parents and children, this work provides strategies for helping children, particularly adolescents, thread their way through the minefields of societal and peer-reinforced sexuality. Comparable to Susan Linn's Consuming Kids: Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing and Advertising, this book is recommended for all public libraries.